"A Glimmer of Death" By Valerie Wilson Wesley: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Cynthia Chow

 Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and links to purchase it.

Still reeling from her husband’s death just a year ago, Odessa Jones is hoping to make her way as a budding real estate agent in New Jersey’s Risko Realty. While Dessa had initially hoped that the office would be a place of bonding between genial coworkers and friendly banter, instead the relationships are brittle and constantly fraught with the looming threat of being fired. Owner Charlie Risko uses intimidation and bullying tactics without hesitation, and his younger trophy wife only reinforces his bullish image. Sparring agents, a spurned employee, and a location straddling the line between two economically opposing towns have Dessa always looking forward to the end on of the day when she can retreat back home to her comforting feline companion Juniper.

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When the extremely unlikable Charlie is shot dead in his office, no one should be too surprised. Least shocked should in fact be Dessa, who has been gifted by her family lineage with second sight and the ability to see auras. After it failed to give her any hint that her beloved husband Darryl would die of an aneurism, Dessa has grown not only to doubt its veracity but to resent it. Far more reliable is her love and talent in the kitchen, where she used to love to cook for her catering business until Darryl died and her heart broke. After the one coworker she liked is arrested, Dessa can’t help but think that the police have made a mistake, kicking into gear her innate nosiness that had gone into hibernation once she became a widow. Once she opens up her intuition Dessa realizes just how little she knew about her coworkers and that everyone there seems to be hiding a secret.

I first fell in love with Valerie Wilson Wesley’s writing in the late 1990s, when I began reading her Tamara Hayle P.I. mysteries that featured a cynical but sympathetic ex-cop investigator. This is the author’s first real venture into the cozier genre, and she unsurprisingly excels by introducing another strong New Jersey female heroine but this time with a paranormal twist. Uncovering some of the seedier elements going on in Risko Realty adds an intriguing plot twist and further motivations for the murder, especially when this has Dessa discovering more victims and culprits. A charming police officer, 7-Up cake recipe, and Dessa’s acceptance of her gifts to see a person’s true “glimmer,” promises the start of a thoughtful, but still very fun, new mystery series.  

To enter to win a copy of A Glimmer of Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "glimmer,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 13, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This looks like a book that would really grab and hold my attention!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. This sounds like a good new series. Thanks for the chance to get in on the ground floor. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  3. This is a new author to me. I really enjoyed the synopsis of the book. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. A new author and series for me! Cozy mixed with the paranormal is my kind of read! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  5. Interesting new series. Thanks for the review.

  6. This looks fantastic! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  7. Love the extra dash of mystery the paranormal element adds! Sounds like a fun read!

  8. Sounds like a great read. JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com


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